Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE national trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade says Zimbabwe’s exports have started picking up as the world markets re-open from the Covid-19-induced lockdown.
When Zimbabwe and the rest of the world effected lockdown measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, the restrictions adversely affected international trade as consumption of non-essential commodities drasticaly dropped.
According to official figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat), between January and May this year, exports declined by 24,89 percent from around US$397,7 million to US$298,7 million.
“Although, exports declined during the period, it is encouraging that exports have started to pick up even when the world markets have not fully re-opened,” said ZimTrade in a statement.
It said the decline of Zimbabwe’s exports during the period under review is within World Trade Organisation’s projections.
“The WTO has said it expects world trade to drop by between 13 and 32 percent in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world.
Zimbabwe’s imports decreased by 5,85 percent from US$383,5 million in January to US$361,1 million in May.
The resurgence of exports growth, ZimTrade said, is indicative of the potential for the country to grow exports once world markets fully open.
“During the period April and May this year, exports took a huge jump from around US$200 million to US$299 million mostly due to an increase in exports of minerals and tobacco,” said ZimTrade.
It said the increase in exports growth can easily be sustained by value addition as well as increased production of goods that are presently in demand around the world.
“For example, with changes in consumption behaviours and people paying attention to what they eat, there has been an increase in the consumption of goods considered to be superfoods because of perceived heathy benefits,” said ZimTrade. — @okazunga.